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Playing for Everton FC against Liverpool FC is one to tell the grandkids says Landon Donovan
Published : 05 Feb 2010 05:00:00
LANDON DONOVAN is so excited at the prospect of playing in a Merseyside derby, he imagines proudly telling his future grandchildren about the experience. The 27-year-old Californian is not only a professional footballer, he is also a fan, and has watched derby matches on satellite TV back home. Now the Toffees' loan signing is preparing to pull on a blue shirt and run onto the Anfield pitch tomorrow, but although he is thrilled at the prospect - it will not be his first time on the other side of Stanley Park. 'I have actually played at Anfield before for Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League,' he says. 'That gives me a bit of an advantage. But saying that, this is one of the biggest and most famous derbies in the world so to have the chance to look back at the end of my career and say I played in it is really great.' Donovan is steadily building on an impressive start to his three and a half month Everton career, and has already spoken of Goodison Park already feeling like home. Now the USA's all-time leading goal scorer has Rafa Benitez's men firmly in his sights, and his team-mates have explained the intensity which lies in store. He said: 'It's pretty clear in this city that you're either on one side or another. There's no middle ground - and a lot of the guys here have explained what it's going to be like. 'I don't want to walk in and be awed by the singing and noise. I want to have visualised it already, and then I can just get on the field and play. That's what I'm good at. I spoke to Tim (Howard) a lot about it to try and understand as much as possible what it's about so I could be prepared as possible. 'There are a few lads here who have grown up Everton fans, so they've told me about it too.' Donovan is not a complete stranger to derby rivalry, having played for the USA against Mexico and for LA Galaxy against arch rivals Club Deportivo Chivas USA. 'The most comparable would be the US-Mexico match, but the difference is that their rivalry has only been real for 10 or 12 years, and this has gone on for more than a 100 years,' he says.